How NFTs breathed new life into fantasy sports.

The Meteoric Rise of Fantasy Football Game, Sorare

In early 2020, Headline Europe became a lead investor in Sorare, a fantasy football game where users can buy, trade, and play with digital player cards. All the cards are official and authentic digital collectibles, certified by more than 100 sports clubs and leagues, and minted as non-fungible tokens (“NFT”) on blockchain.

(Source: nonfungible.com)

(Source: nonfungible.com)

Fantasy sports isn’t anything new — it’s history dates back to the days after World War II —but it’s been seeing a revival of sorts. From March 2020 to March 2021, monthly sales on Sorare has grown 1000 times, from around USD $20,000 to $20,000,000. The surprising spark behind this explosion of growth is the introduction of NFTs, and the reason can be broken down into three points.

(Source: Sorare.com)

(Source: Sorare.com)

Scarcity

You can certainly play the game with “common” cards, which aren’t limited by number. Yet, to have a better chance of winning, it’s better to have limited edition cards in hand. And each of these limited release cards is a minted NFT and one-of-a-kind.

Play to Earn

The NFT cards can be sold to other players on Sorare or other platforms like Opensea with cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. Users can obtain new cards as well as increase the value of their existing cards by playing the game, which means the users can actually earn income by playing Sorare.

A Single Game for the Masses

As NFT and cryptocurrencies are borderless by nature, Sorare is also an open platform for the world. Even if you’re in Tokyo and have been on the platform since the beginning, you can play the same fantasy game as someone on the other side of the planet who just joined today. Such a design generates a much stronger network than traditional fantasy games where users mostly build a closed league with friends.

(Glenn Carsten-Peters/Unsplash)

(Glenn Carsten-Peters/Unsplash)

The Future if Bright for NFTs

Besides Sorare, Headline continues to invest actively in the field of NFT and digital entertainment. Recently, LAUNCHPAD FUND, a seed-stage focused fund run by Headline Asia, invested in SmartApp, which operates the first approval-based NFT marketplace in Japan called “nanakusa”.

Unlike Opensea and Rarible and more similar to SuperRare and Foundation, nanakusa is the first NFT marketplace in Japan that adopts an approval-based system. This ensures that only authentic items of the highest quality can be minted and traded as an NFT on the platform. Additionally, nanakusa is also the first fully on-chain NFT marketplace in Japan, adopting layer 2 solutions, like Polygon.

It’s also well-connected in the ecosystem. nanakusa has established partnerships with almost all of the major NFT players in Japan such as MyCryptoHeroes, gumi, CryptoGames, JPYC, and more.

We look forward to witnessing how nanakusa will grow to become the next headliner in the NFT marketplace in Japan.

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